Gambar halaman


of any Greek author.

Greek barism. And, which is most surprising, there is no city which a variety of accidents bad drawn together, to Latin
Language of Greece where the language is more different from establish themselves on that mountainous region, in order Lauguages

the ancient than at Athens. The reason of that is, be to secure their own property, and plunder that of their
cause it has been long inliabited by a mixed multitude neighbours. They were in all probability composed of
of different nations,

Arcadians, Sabines, Latins, Hetruscans, Umbrians, Os-
To conclude, the Greeks have left the most durable cans, Pelasgi, &c.; and if so, their language must have
monuments of human wisdom, fortitude, magnificence, been a mixture of the different dialects peculiar to all
and ingenuity, in their improvement of every art and these discordant tribes.
science, and in the finest writings upon every subject The Latin language ought then to be a mingled mass
necessary, profitable, elegant, or entertaining

of the Arcadian, that is, the Æolian || Greek, the Pe- || Strabo,
The Greeks have furnished the brightest examples of lasgic, Hetruscan, and Celtic dialects. These jarring lib. v.
every virtue and accomplishment, natural or acquired, elements, like the people to whom they belonged respec-ticarn an
political, moral, or military: they excelled in mathema- tively, gradually incorporated, and produced what was tig. lib i.
tics and philosophy; in all the forms of government, in afterwards called the Latin tongue.
architecture, navigation, commerce, war: as orators,

The Arcadians were a Pelasgic s tribe, and conse- s Strabo et poets, and bistorians, they stand as yet unrivalled, and quently spoke a dialect of that ancient Greek produced Herodotus. are like to stand so for ever; nor are they less to be ad- by the coalition of this tribe with the savage aborigines mired for the exercises and amusements they invented, of Greece. This dialect was the ground-work of the and brought to perfection, in the institution of their Latin. Every scholar allows, that the Æolian Greek, public games, their theatres, and sports.

which was strongly tinctured with the Pelasgic, was the No perfect Let us further observe, that in vain our readers will model

upon which the Latin language was fermed. translation

look for these admired excellencies in any of the best from this deduction it appears, that the Latin tongue
translations from the Greek: they may indeed commu is much more ancient than the modern Greek; and of
nicate some knowledge of what the originals contain ; course we may add, that the Greek, as it stood before it
they may present you with propositions, characters, and was thoroughly polished, bore a very near resemblance
events: but allowing them to be more faithful and more to that language. Hence we think we may conclude,
accurate than they really are, or can well be, still they that the knowledge of the Latin language is necessary
are no better than copies, in which the spirit and lustre in order to understand the Greek. Let us not then
of the originals are almost totally lost. The mind may expect to find the real ingredients of the Greek tongue
be instrueted, but will not be enchanted: The picture in the academic groves of Athens, or in Smyrna, or in
may bear some faint resemblance, and if painted by a Rhodope, or in Hæmos ; but on the banks of the Tiber
masterly hand give pleasure ; but who would be satisfied and on the fields of Laurentum.
with the canvass, when he may possess the real object ? A very considerable part of the Latin tongue was
who would prefer a piece of coloured glass to a dia. derived from the Hetruscan. That people were the
mond? It is not possible to preserve the beauties of the masters of the Romans in every thing sacred. From
original in a translation.— The powers of the Greek are them they learned the ceremonies of religion, the me-
vastly beyond those of any other tongue. Whatever thod of arranging games and public festivals, the art of
the Greeks describe is always felt, and almost seen; mo divination, the interpretation of omens, the method of
tion and music are in every tone, and enthusiasm and in- lustrations, expiations, &c. It would, we believe, be
chantment possess the mind :

easy to prove, that the Pelasgi* and Hetrusci (x) were * Thucydi

the same race of people ; and if this was the case, their des, lib vi. Grciis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo, languages must have differed in their dialect only. Musa loqui.


The Umbrian or Celtic enters deeply into the com

position of the Latin tongue. For proof of this, we SECT. VIII. Of the Latin Language. need only appeal to Pelloutier, Bullet's Memoires de la Origin of

Langue Celtic, partie premiere, Abbé Peyron's Origin the Ro

This language, like every other spoken by barbari- of Ancient Nations, &c. Whether the old Celtic difof their ans, was in its beginning rough and uncultivated. fered essentially from the Pelasgic and Hetruscan, would language. What people the Romans were, is a point in which an be a matter of curious investigation, were this a proper * Tit. Liv. tiquarians are not yet agreed. In their own opinion subject for the present article. lib . cap 1. they were spring from the Trojans * ; Dion. Halicar.

The Latin abounds with oriental words, especially derives them from the Greekst; and Plutarch informs Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Persian. These are certainly † Antiq. Rom. lib. i. us † that some people imagined that they were sprung remains of the Pelasgic and Hetruscan tongues, spoken

Vita Ro- from the Pelasgi. The fact is, they were a mixture of originally by people who emigrated from regions where mul. people collected out of Latium and the adjacent parts, those were parts of the vernacular language.—The



mans, and

(x) The Hetrusci were variously denominated by the Greeks and Romans. The former called them tuerque ; which was their true name, for they actually emigrated from Tarshish, or the western coast of Asia Minor, and consequently Herodotus everywhere calls them tugonvoi. The Æolians changed a into v; hence in that dialect they were called Tugonvos, from Tarsus. The Romans styled them Tusci, probably from the Greek verb duw, sacrifico, alluding to the skill which that people professed in the ceremonies of religion. They called their country Hetruris, we think from the Chaldaic word heretum, "a magician or soreerer; a name deduced from their skill 'in divination,

Latin Greeks, in polishing their language, gradually distorted language had opdergone its last refinement.-Hence the

Latin Language. and disfigured vast numbers of the rough eastern voca Latin accusative in um, instead of the Greek or. The Language. bles, which made a very great part of it.

(See the

vocative case, we imagine, was in this declension origipreceding section).

nally like the nominative. The Latins have no dual The Romans, of less delicate organs, left them in number, because, in our opinion, the Æolian dialect, their natural state, and their natural air readily bewrays from which they copied, had none. It would be, we their original. We bad collected a large list of Latin think, a violent stretch of etymological exertion, to de

words still current in the east ; but find that Thomas rive either the Latin genitive plural of the second deGlossary. sint and Ogerius (Y), and especially Mons. Gebelin, clension from the same case of the Greek, or that of the

in his most excellent Latin Dictionary, have rendered latter from the former; we therefore leave this anoma-
that labour superfluous.

ly, without pretending to account for its original forma-
In this language, too, there are not a few Gothic tion. The third declensions in both languages are so
terms. How these found their way into the Latin, it exactly parallel, that it would be superfluous to compare
is not easy to discover, unless, as Pelloutier supposes, them. The dative plural here is another anomaly, and
the Celtic and Gothic languages were originally the we think a very disagreeable one, which we leave to the
same : or perhaps we may conjecture, that such words conjectures of more profound etymologists.
were part of a primitive language, which was at one For the other peculiarities of Latin nouns, as they are
time universal.

nearly similar to those of the Greek, we must beg leave 182

There are, besides, in the Latin a great number of to remit our readers to tbat section for information. How far

183 obsolete Greek words, which were in process of time The Latins have no articles, which is certainly a de- Deficiency the Latin resembles obliterated, and others substituted in their room ; so fect in their language. The Pelasgic, from wbich they of articles, the Greek. that, upon the whole, we are persuaded, that the most copied, had not adopted that word in the demonstrative

effectual method to distinguish the difference between sense. Homer indeed seldom uses it; and the probabi.
the early and modern Greek, would be to compare the lity is, that the more early Greek used it less frequent-
ancient Latin with the latter; there being, we imagine, ly, at least in the sense above mentioned. Thus in La-
very little difference between the ancient Greek and tin, when I say, video hominem, it is impossible to find
Latin in the earliest periods.

out by the bare words whether the word hominem inti-
However that may be, it is certain that the Roman mates a man,” or “the man

an;" whereas in Greek letters were the same with the ancient Greek.-Formce it would be Βλεπω ανθρωπον, I see a man, Βλεπω τον

literis Latinis quæ veterrimis Græcorum, says Taci ay@gwtor, I see the man. Hence the first expression is Tacitus, tus ; and Pliny § says the same thing, and for the indefinite, and the second definite.

184 Anal truth of his assertion he appeals to a monument extant

The substantive verb sum in Latin seems to be partly Origin of lib. ii. in his own times.

formed from the Greek and partly not. Some of the the substanNat Hist.

These old Greek letters were no other than the Pe. persons of the present tense have a near resemblance to live verb, lib. vii.

lasgic, which we have shown from Diodorus Siculus the Greek verb św or upes, while others vary widely cap. 55.

(see preceding Section) to have been prior to the Cad. from that archetype. The imperfect præterite and

For the figure of these letters, see Astle, Po præterperfect have nothing common wilh the Greek stellus, Montfaucon, Palægrapbia Græca, Mons. Ge verb, and cannot, we think, be forced into an alliance belin, and our Plates XV. and XVI.

with it. The future ero, was of old eso, and is indeed That the Latins borrowed the plan of their declen- genuine Greek. Upon the whole, in our apprebension, sions from the Greeks, is evident from the exact resem the Latin substantive verb more nearly resembles the blance of the terminations of the cases throughout the Persian verb hesten than that of any other language we three similar declensions. In nouns of the first declen are acquainted with.

ISS sion, the resenıblance is too palpable to stand in need From what exemplar the Latin verbs were derived, and of oof illustration. In the second, the Greek genitive is os. is not, we think, easily ascertained. We know that at-ther verbs. . In Latin the o is thrown out, and the termination be tempts have been made to deduce them all from the comes i. In the Greek section, we have observed, that Æolic Greek, and that the Romans themselves were exthe sounds of , and u differed very little; therefore the tremely fond of this chimera ; but the almost numberLatins used , instead of v. The Latin dative ends in o, less irregularities, both in the formation and conjugation which is the Greek dative, throwing away subscrip of their verbs, induce us to believe that only a part of tum, which was but faintly sounded in that language. them were formed upon that model. We are apt to No genuine Greek word ended in fe or m.

think that the terminations in bam, bas, bat, bamus, The Hellenes seemed to have abhorred that bellowing &c. are produced by their union with a fragment of liquid; it is, however, certain tbat they imported it some obsolete verb, which is now wholly lost. In the from the east, as well as the other letters, and that they verb amo, e.g. we are sure that the radix am is the Heemployed it in every other capacity, except in that of brew word mother; but bow am-aban, am-abo, am-arem closing words. In the termination of flexions, they were fabricated, and connected with the radical


is changed it into y.

not so easily determined. That Latin verbs are comThe Latins retained m, which had been imported to posed of an inflexible radix and another flexible verb, them as a terminating letter at an era before the Greek as well as the Greek, cannot be doubted; but what this



(Y) Græca et Latina lingua Hebraizantes, Venice 1763. If these books are not at hand, Dr Littleton's : Dictionary will, in a good measure, supply their place.

Si volet usus,

Latin flexible auxiliary was, we think, cannot now be clearly cause of an awkward circumlocution wherever it happens Latin
Language. ascertained. It is not altogether improbable that such to present itself. Thus, “ The general having crossed Language.

parts of the verbs as deviate from the Greek archetype the river drew up his army;" Imperator, cum transiisset
were supplied by fragments of the verb ha, which per- flumen, aciem instruxit

. Here cum transiisset flumen is
vades all the branches of the Gothic language, and has, a manifest circumlocution, which is at once avoided in
we think, produced the Latin verb habeo. When the the Greek ο ηγεμων περασας τον ποταμων, &c. This must
Greeks began to etymologize, they seldom overpassed always prove an incumbrance in the case of active in-
the verge of their own language : the Latins pursued transitive verbs. When active deponent verbs occur,
nearly the same course. If their own language presented it is easily avoided. Thus, “ Cæsar having encouraged
a plausible etymology, they embraced it; if not, they the soldiers, gave the signal for joining battle;" Cæsar
immediately had recourse to the Greek ; and this was cohortatus milites, præliï committendi signum dedit.
the ne plus ultra of their etymological researches. Ci Another palpable defect in this language arises from
cero, Quintilian, Festus, &c. and even Varro, the most the want of a participle of the present passive. This
learned of all the Romans, stop here; all beyond is again must produce an inconveniency upon many occa-
either doubt or impenetrable darkness. Their opinion sions, as will be obvious to every Latin student almost
above mentioned we offer only as a conjecture; the de every moment.

189 186 cision we leave to more able critics.

The two supines are universally allowed to be sub-Supines and Deficien The want of aorists or indefinite tenses seems to us a stantive nouns of the fourth declension. How these gerunds. cies in La- palpable defect in the Latin language. The use of assumed the nature of verbs it is not easy to determine. tin verbs. these among the Greeks entitled the writer to express When they are placed after verbs or nouns, the matter

the specific variations of time with more accuracy and is attended with no difficulty; but how they should ac-
precision than the Latins, who never attempted to spe- quire an active signification, and take the case of the
cify them by any other tenses but the imperfect and plu- verb with which they are connected, implies, we should

Indeed we should imagine, that both the think, a stretch of prerogative.
Greeks and Latins were much inferior to the English The Latin gerunds form another unnatural anomaly.
in this respect. The Latin word lego, for example, may Every Latin scholar knows that those words are nothing
be translated into English three different ways: ist, I but the neuters of the participles of the future passive.
read; 2d, I do read; 3d, I am reading.

The fabricators of the Latin tongue, however, elevated

The Latins, in reducing verbs to their four conjuga- them from their primary condition, giving them upon
ties in the tions, formed their inflexions in a very irregular manner. many occasions an active signification. In this case
conjuga- Many very of the first class inflect their præterite and we must have recourse to

supine like those of the second : thus domo, instead of
giving avi and atum, has ui and itum, like monui and
monitum. Again, not a few verbs of the third conju-

Quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loquendi.
gation have ivi and atum, as if they belonged to the Another inconveniency, perhaps more severely felt
fourth; e. g. peto, petivi, petitum. Then, some verbs than

any of the preceding, arises from the want of the
have io in the present, ivi in the præterite, and itum in use of the present participle of the verb sum. Every
the supine, while, contrary to the rules of analogy, they body knows what a conveniency is derived from the
in reality belong to the third : such are cupio, cupivi, frequent use of the participle w in Greek; and indeed
cupitum, cupere, &c. Some verbs of the second conju- it appears to us somewhat surprising that the Latins
gation have their præterite and supine as if they belong- neglected to introduce the participle ens into their lan-
ed to the third ; thus, jubeo, jussi, jussum, jubere ; au guage. In this we believe they are singular. Here
geo, auri, auctum, augere. Some verbs, which are again a circumlocution becomes necessary in such a case
actually of the fourth conjugation, have their præterite as the following : “ The senate being at Rome, passed
and supine as if they were of the third ; thus sentio, a decree.” Instead of saying senatus ens Roma, legem
sensi, sensum, sentire; haurio, hausi, haustum, haurire, tulit, we are obliged to say cum senatus Romæ esset

&c. If these are not manifest irregularities, we cannot &c. If the words ens or existens had been adopted,
say what deserves the name. The fact seems to stand as in the Greek, this odious circumlocution would have
thus : The Romans were originally a banditti of rob been avoided.
bers, bankrupts, runaway slaves, shepherds, husband Many other defects of the like kind will occur to
men, and peasants of the most unpolished character. every person who shall choose to search for them, and
They were engaged in perpetual broils and quarrels at those in the most approved classical authors. Perhaps
home, and seldom enjoyed repose abroad. Their pro our mentioning so many may be deemed invidious by
fession was robbery and plunder. Like old Ishmael, the admirers of that language; but we write from con-
their hands were against every man, and every man's viction, and that must be our apology.
hand against them. In such a state of society no time If one take the trouble to compare the structure of the


Different was left for cultivating the sciences. Accordingly the Greek and Latin languages, he will, we think, quickly genius of arts of war and government were their sole profession. be convinced that their characteristic features are ex- the Latin This is so true, that their own poet characterizes them tremely different. The genius of the former seems easy in the following manner :

and natural; whereas that of the latter, notwithstanding

the united efforts of poets, orators, and philosophers, Excudunt alii spirantia mollius æra, &c.

still bears the marks of violence and restraint. Hence The Latin

Another blemish in the Latin tongue is occasioned it appears that the Latin tongue was pressed into the deficient in by its wanting a participle of the præterite sense in the service, and compelled almost against its will to bend to participles. active voice. This defect is perpetually felt, and is the the laws of the Grecian model. Take a sentence of 3


and Greck


Canses of

this differ- cause.


Latin Hebrew, Chaldean, Arabian, &c. and try to translate lect of the Romans. The Pelasgic or Hetruscan part of Latin
Language, it into Greek without regarding the arrangement of the it retained a strong tincture of the oriental style. The Language, .

words, and you will find it no difficult attempt; but Celtic part seems to have been prevalent, since we find
make the same trial with respect to the Latin, and you that most of the names of places (2), especially in the
will probably find the labour attended with considerable middle and northern parts of Italy, are actually of Cel-
difficulty. To translate Greek into English is no labo tic original. It is therefore clear that the style of the
rious task; the texture of the two languages is so con first Romans was composed of the languages above men-
genial, that the words and phrases, and even the idio tioned. Who those first Romans were, we believe it is
matic expressions, naturally slide into each other. With impossible to determine with any degree of certainty.
the Latin the case is quite otherwise; and before elegant The Roman historians afford us as little information up-
English can be produced, one must deviate considerably on that subject, as their etymologists do upon the origin
from the original. Should we attempt to translate a piece of their language. Their most celebrated writers upon
of English into Greek, and at the same time into Latin, this point were Ælius Gallus, Quintus Cornificius, No-
the translation of the former would be attended with nius Marcellus, Festus, and some others of less note.
much less difficulty than that of the latter, supposing At the head of these we ought to place Terentius

the translator equally skilled in both languages. 191

Varro, whom Cicero styles the most learned of all the
This incongruity seems to spring from the following Romans. From these writers we are to expect no

Before any man of considerable abilities, either light. Their etymologies are generally childish and
in the capacity of a poet, grammarian, or rhetorician, futile. Of the language of the most ancient Romans
appeared at Rome, the language had acquired a strong we can only reason by analogy; and by that rule we
and inflexible tone, tou stubborn to be exactly moulded can discover nothing more than what we have ad-
according to the Grecian standard. After a language vanced above.
has continued several centuries without receiving a new In the first place we may rest assured that the dual
polish, it becomes like a full grown tree, incapable of number, the articles, the participle above mentioned, the
being bent to the purposes of the mechanic. For this aorists, and the whole middle-voice, never appeared in
reason, it is highly probable, that the tongue in question the Latin tongue; and accordingly were not current in
could not be forced into a complete assimilation with those languages from which it was copied, at least at
the Greek. Notwithstanding all these obstructions, in the time when it was first fabricated.
process of time it arrived at such an exalted pitch of Besides all this, many circumstances concur to make
perfection, as to rival, perhaps to excel, all the other it bighly probable that, in the earliest period of the lan-
European languages, the Greek only excepted. Had guage, very few inflexions were introduced. ist, When
men of the taste, judgment, and industry of Ennius, the Pelasgi left Greece, the Greek language itself was
Plautus, Terence, Cicero, and the worthies of the not fully polished. 2d, The Arcadians were never tho-
Augustan age, appeared in the early stages of the Ro roughly cultivated. They were a rustic pastoral people,
man commonwealth, we may believe that their language and little minded the refinements of a civilized state;
would have been thoroughly reduced to the Grecian consequently the language they brought into Italy at
archetype, and that the two dialects might bave in that era must have been of a coarse and irregular con-
proved each other by a rivalship between the nations texture. 3d, When the Thessalian * Pelasgi arrived in * Dionys.
wbo employed them.

Italy about the time of Deucalion, the Greek itself was


lib. i. Without pretending to entertain our readers with a rude and barbarous; and, which is still of more consepompous

and elaborate account of the beauties of that quence, if we may credit Herodotus quoted in the forim perial language which have been detailed by writers mer section, that people had never adopted the Hellenic almost without number, we shall endeavour to lay be- tongue. Hence it appears, that the part of the Latin fore them as briefly as possible its pristine character, the language derived from the Pelasgic or Hetruscan (for steps and stages by which it gradually rose to perfec- those we believe to have been the same) must have tation, the period when it arrived at the summit of its ken a deep tincture from the oriental tongue. (See preexcellence, and by what means it degenerated with a ceding Section). If we may judge of the Celtic of that rapid career till it was lost among those very people to age by that of the present, the same character must likewhom it owed its birth.

wise have distinguisbed its structure. The Latin We have observed already, that the Latin tongue From these circumstances, we think it appears that Hence tongue was a colluvies of all the languages spoken by the va the earliest language of the Romans was very little di- little incomposed

grant people who composed the first elements of that re versified with infections. It nearly resembled the orien- flected in its chietly of Pelasgic

public. The prevailing dialects were the Pelasgic or tal exemplar, and consequently differed widely from the original and Celtic Hetruscan, which we think were the same ; and the modern Latin. The effect of this was, that the modern words. Celtic, which was the aboriginal tongue of Italy. Romans could not understand the language of their early

Hence the primary dialect of the Romans was composed progenitors. Polybius t, speaking of the earliest treaty + Lib. 3.
of discordant materials, which in our opinion never ac between the Romans and Carthaginians, makes the fol- sub initio.
qnired a natural and congenial union. Be that as it lowing observation : " Believe me (says he), the Roman
may, this motley mixture was certainly the original dia- language bas undergone so many changes since that





(z) For proof of this our readers may consult Abbé Pezron, Pelloutier, Bullet's Mem. Gebelin, Pref. Dict. Lat, and many others..

at 83.



Latin time (A) to the present, that eren those who are most us to chatter French. Greek tntors were retained in

Latin Language. deeply skilled in the science of antiquities cannot under. every reputable family, and many Romans of the first Language

. stand the words of that treaty but with the greatest dif- rank were equally qualified to speak or write both in ficulty."

Greek and Latin. The original jargon of Latium was From this source we make no doubt has flowed that now become obsolete and unintelligible; and Cato the vast number of oriental words with which the Latin Ancient condescended to learn the Greek language language is impregnated. These were originally in.

196 flexible. like their brethren of the east. They were not To pretend to enumerate the various, and we may The olddisguised as they now are with prefixes, affixes, meta add inimitable, examples of the Augustan or golden age en age of

Rome. theses, syncopas, antitheses, &c. but plain and unadorn- of the Roman tongue, would be an insult to the undered in their natural dress.

standing of our readers : we shall only take the liberty Bent after After the Romans became acquainted with the Æo to translate a few lines from a most excellent historian

* Velleius Wards into lian Greeks, who gradually seized upon both coasts of who, had his honesty been equal to his judgment, Paterculus, cian model. Italy towards the south, which they called Magna Græ- might have rivalled the most celebrated writers of his lib. i. cap. cia, they began to affect a Grecian air, and to torture

country. Having observed, that the Greek authors,
their language into that foreign contexture. It appears, who excelled in every province of literature, bad all
however, that at first the Grecian garb sat rather awk- made their appearance nearly about the same space of
wardly, and several marks of violence were easily dis- time, confined within very narrow limits, he adds,
cerned. The most ancient specimen of this kind that “ Nor was this circumstance more conspicuous among
we can recollect consists of the remains of the twelve the Greeks than among the Romans ; for unless we go
tables. Here every thing is rude and of a clumsy cast ; back to the rough and unpolished times, which deserve
for though by this time considerable progress bad been commendation only on account of their invention, the
made in refinement, and the language of Rome had be- Roman tragedy is confined to Accius and the period
gun to appear in a Grecian uniform, still those changes when he flourished. The charming wit of Latin ele-
were not altogether natural. Soon after appeared Mar gance was brought to light by Cecilius, Terentius, and
cus Fabius Pictor and Sisenna ; historians often quoted Afranius, nearly in the same age. As for our historians
by Livy, but whose works are long since irrecoverably (to add Livy also to the age of the former), if we ex-
lost. The Fasti Capitolini are often mentioned; but cept Cato and some old obscure ones, they were all con-
they too perished in the burning of the Capitol during fined to a period of 80 years; so neither has our stock of
the civil wars between Marius and Sylla. Had those poets extended to a space much backward or forward.
monuments escaped the ravages of time, we should have But the energy of the bar, and the finished beauty of
been able to mark the progress of the Latin tongue prose eloquence, setting aside the same Cato (by leave
from stage to stage, and to ascertain with the greatest of P. Crassus, Scipio, Lælius, the Gracchi, Fannius,
accuracy its gradual configuration in the course of its and Ser. Galba, be it spoken), broke out all at once
progress towards the Grecian standard. We must there- under Tully the prince of bis profession ; so that one
fore leave the Latin tongue during those periods rude can be delighted with none before him, and admire none
and barbarous, and descend to others better known and except euch as have either seen or were seen by that
more characteristically marked. Those commenced af- orator.”
ter that

From this quotation it plainly appears, that the Ro

mans themselves were convinced of the short duration of
Græcia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
Intulit agresti Latio.

the golden age of their language. According to the 195

most judicious critics, it commenced with the era of Ci. The prin

In this period we find Ennius, who wrote a Roman cero's oratorical productions, and terminated with the cipal authors by

history in hexameter verse in 18 books, which he called reign of Tiberius, or perhaps it did not reach beyond 107 whom it Annals ; most part of which is now lost. He likewise the middle of that prince's reign. It is generally be. Causes of

The degene translated Euhemerus de Origine Deorum; a work often lieved that eloquence, and with it every thing liberal, dually po- mentioned by the Christian fathers in their disputes with elevated, and manly, was banished Rome by the despo-Lein dished.

the Pagans. It sometimes quoted by Cicero. Then tism of the Cæsars. We imagine that the transition was tongue.
followed Caius Lucilius the famous satirist, and a num too instantaneous to have been entirely produced by that
ber of other writers, such as Accius, Valerius, Ædituus, unhappy cause. Despoti-m was firmly established among
Alpinus, &c. whose fragments were published by the the Romans about the middle of the reign of Augustus;
Stephens, Paris, 1564. All these imitated the writers and yet that period produced such a group of learned
of Greece or translated from them.

By their perseve

men as never adorned any other nation in so short a rance and active exertions, the spirit of these authors space of time. Despotisin, we acknowledge, might have was transfused into the Latin tongue, and its structure affected the eloquence of the bar; the noble and imaccommodated to the Grecian plan.

portant objects which bad animated the republican oraPlautus and Terence, by translating the comedies of tors being now no more : but this circumstance could Menander and Diphilus into their own language, tauglit not affect poetry, history, philosophy, &c. the Latin muses to speak Attic Greek. To speak that employed upon these subjects did not feel the fetters of language was then the ton of the times, as it is now with despotism. The age of Louis XIV. was the golden pe


Was grå

racy of the

The style

(A) This treaty, according to the same historian, was concluded in the consulship of Lucius Junius Brutus and
Marcus Valerius, 28 years before Xerxes made his descent upon Greece.

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